It was recently revealed that when Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn unveiled the near-street-ready version of the Zoe electric car last September at the Paris Motor Show, its investigators have already started to search for information related to alleged espionage claims. The Zoe electric car will go on sale in 2012 as the showpiece of its high-profile electric vehicle program.
In early January, Renault went public with its suspicions and it dismissed three senior executives.
The carmaker also filed a legal complaint against "persons unknown" over organized theft, aggravated breach of trust and passing intelligence to a foreign power. In the initial probe, the French prosecutors looked into what one government source called a "China link.”
China has denied any involvement and the three Renault executives all profess that they are innocent.
Media reports have pointed out that companies are at risk of government-linked corporate espionage and data theft in the coming years due to a lack of dividing lines between the state and corporations in countries such as China or Russia.
Another reason is that stealing huge volumes of information is very easy with digital technology. [via autonews - sub. required]